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Canadian border closure extended to May 21

The border between the U.S. and Canada has been shut down to non-essential travel since March of 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic began.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The border between the U.S. and Canada will remain closed at least for another month.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website, the closure initially enacted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 16, 2020 has now been extended to May 21, 2021. This comes just one day before the last order was set to expire on April 21, 2021. The Northern border does remain open for essential travel.

For nearly a year, lawmakers have been pushing for the border to be reopened. U.S. Congressman Higgins is calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to create a plan. 

RELATED: Higgins pushes for federal plan to reopen border, believes vaccination should be required

President Joe Biden issued an executive order earlier this year that said a border reopening plan would be developed in 14 days, but one has not been released. 

Higgins said the plan could involve a mask mandate and vaccine requirement to cross the border. 

"If you're vaccinated twice, if you wear a mask, if you practice good physical distancing, you pose no danger to anyone in Canada, and vice versa," he said.

Higgins is pressing for a partial reopening of the border by May, which would include people with property and loved ones over the border, and a full reopening by July.

“It’s 395 days since the United States-Canadian border closed, and the closure was just extended another 30 days," said the Congressman.  "Families on both sides of the border have been torn apart, people who love each other, parents, grandchildren, unable to see each other. We need a plan to open the U.S.-Canadian border. With vaccines, face masks, and good physical distancing we can do so safely and successfully.”

Currently, just across our border, officials in the Ontario Province say they are in the middle of a third wave of Coronavirus. This has lead to a shutdown of nearly all non-essential businesses.

RELATED: Ontario retracts new COVID restrictions that drew the ire of many